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Support for Students with Special Educational Needs

Update: this information is being updated during the course of the Autumn Term 2019




 What kinds of SEND are supported at BGGS?

We are an inclusive mainstream secondary school. We welcome students with a range of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as defined in the 2014 SEN Act and shown in the chart below. All staff take responsibility for maintaining high standards and supporting students to make excellent progress by:

  • Quality first teaching for all students, including those with greater or a disability which affects their access to educational facilities, through differentiated provision, reasonable adjustments, inclusive classroom practices and monitoring of progress.
  • Some classes are smaller, with additional adult support, and there are adaptations as/when needed.
  • Key Stage 4 – 5 Options include some vocational and alternatively accredited courses.
  • Extra sessions before/after school, such as Craft Club, Homework Club, Reading Club and subject coaching, to help students to catch up/keep up, gain practical skills and work together.
  • Access Arrangements for examinations are trialled from Year 7 and are part of normal classroom practice. This helps both staff and students to decide exactly what is needed when students study for external exams, and to become confident in using the access arrangements in GCSEs.
  • Ongoing individual information and guidance (IAG) is a strong feature of the school, including personal options interviews at the end of Key Stage 3 and further 1:1 meetings during Year 11.

 The chart below shows additional/different support and interventions that may be provided as part of a graduated approach, on the basis of an individual student’s needs and the resources available. These are examples (a student may have needs in several areas and may need a range of support to meet her individual requirements).

Special Educational Needs

Examples of SEND Support and Interventions

1. Communication and interaction

·         Friends programme

·         Support from BGGS specialist Teaching Assistant for Autism or the Local Authority (LA) Communications & Autism Teacher

·         LA Pupil & School Support Teacher assessment and advice

2. Cognition and Learning

·         Literacy Catch Up

·         Numeracy Catch Up

·         Maths Entry Level course

·         ASDAN option in Key Stage 4

3. Social, mental and emotional health

·         Mentoring

·         Meetings with School Nurse

·         Person Centred Planning

·         Educational Psychologist

4. Sensory and/or physical needs

·         Support from BGGS specialist Teaching Assistants or LA Specialist Teachers of Physical Disability, Hearing or Visual Impairment

·         Hearing Impairment Resource Base

·         Adaptations or additional resources

Bordesley Green Girls’ School has a Hearing Resource Base and information about the base is shown separately at the end of this ‘School Offer’.

We have an Accessibility Plan which has been prepared in compliance with the Equality Act 2010. This is updated annually and is available from school on request.       

How are students with SEND identified and assessed?

  • Primary links: We find out about our Year 6 students through close links with primary schools and meetings with parents/carers and students. Support is given during BGGS’ Y6 Induction each July.
  • Baseline tests: At the start of Year 7, students complete subject assessments and online reading and MidYIS tests. These tell us about general or specific needs and guide us in planning school work to help students reach their targets.
  • Ongoing assessments: Further assessments, class tracking sheets, SEND data and daily ‘assessment for learning’ in lessons by teachers and TAs all help to identify students who may be experiencing difficulties. Individual tests or assessment by external staff, such as the Educational Psychologist, may be required. Concerns about a student are shared with the student, teachers, Inclusion Department staff and parents/carers, so that we can plan together how best to move forward.
  • ‘Wrap-around’ support: Our aim is for all staff to be flexible, knowledgeable and understanding of individual needs. Many students need help at some point in their school life, whether or not they have a formal SEND diagnosis. For example, a student with social difficulties (but not ASD) might join the Friends group, we try to make classrooms ‘Dyslexia Friendly’ and our OFSTED report (Feb 2014) praised teachers’ skills in promoting literacy and reading in lessons.

Who should you contact for help?

The Inclusion Department consists of: Assistant Headteacher - Inclusion, Assistant SENCO, SEND Teacher, Inclusion Administrator, Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) and Teaching Assistants (TAs). Our TAs specialise in curriculum areas and/or aspects of SEN, such as Autism or Visual Impairment and are highly skilled in supporting students to make academic and social progress, both in class and through a range of interventions. There are close links between Inclusion and Pastoral staff.

Assistant Headteacher – Inclusion: Ms H Davis   
Assistant SENCO: Miss D Bennett  
Inclusion SEND Administrator: Mrs N Begum 

If you contact school and are unable to speak to the member of staff you require (who may be teaching or in a meeting) please leave a message or email and they will contact you as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about this ‘School Offer’. 

Any complaints should be raised with the appropriate member of staff in the first instance, or with your child's form tutor. If your concerns are not satisfatorily addressed, details of our complaints policy are available in the About Us section of this website.

How do we involve parents/carers of children with SEND?

  • We meet parents/carers with their daughters at open evenings or other visits, to discuss their needs, and most appropriate future schooling.
  • A member of BGGS Inclusion Department attends Y6 Annual Reviews for students with EHC Plans. Formal reviews are held during each school year at BGGS.
  • Informal contact: telephone calls, meetings with individual parents/carers and Inclusion or Pastoral group meetings/coffee mornings.
  • Concerns, involvement of students in interventions, successes and progress are shared.
  • School systems such as Parents Evenings, Autumn Target Setting Day and weekly Newsletter (also on the website) are used to consult and involve parents/carers.
  • Students on the SEN Register have an SEN Report, as well as subject reports, as part of the year group’s reports.
  • Parent/carer questionnaires, for instance at Parents Evenings.
  • Women’s English Study group with links to local colleges.

How do we consult students with SEND and involve them in decisions?

  • Year 6 students attend Induction Week, where they meet older students and staff and find out about BGGS.
  • Year 6 Students with SEND are strongly encouraged to attend Summer School at the start of the summer holidays.
  • TAs are involved in helping students to ‘have their say’ about their education and wider school life, through programmes such as allocating specific students to meet a TA regularly, small group work, academic mentoring and excellent day-to-day professional relationships.
  • Students with SEND take part in all whole-school feedback about their education; School Council representatives are elected from each form group.
  • Quality First teaching (see 1) includes specific feedback to and discussion with individual students.
  • ICT resources such as MyMaths and Firefly help students to study at home and keep parents/carers informed of subject work. Home reading is strongly encouraged and the school library is very well used.
  • All students take on roles of responsibility, such as Reception Monitors. Students with SEND are well represented in roles such as Prefects, Mediators, Inclusion and Reading Club Mentors.
  • The Inclusion Base and Pastoral Offices are centrally situated and almost always staffed.

What are the arrangements for assessing and reviewing student's progress?

  • School systems identify students who are making less than expected progress; e.g. termly Progress Checks, subject assessments, reading tests, Parents’ Evenings, end of year exam results. Slow progress and/or low attainment do not automatically indicate SEND, but the reasons for any difficulties should be identified. Interventions and further monitoring take place to review whether the student has accelerated her progress and improved her attainment, or continues to make little/no progress, in which case further intervention/action would be required.
  • Our aim is for students with SEND to make progress that: narrows the attainment gap with peers, is equal to or improves on previous rate of progress, is likely to result in accreditation at predicted grades and develops a good range of life skills.
  • Annual reviews of EHC Plans involve parents/carers, students and other agencies.
  • Formal and informal meetings with parents/carers and students; ongoing liaison with families, review of SEND targets.
  • Classroom/general observations from a range of staff, e.g. lunchtime supervisors, pastoral staff as well as teachers and TAs – feedback to Inclusion Dept, liaison with families.
  • Students’ inclusion in school life, attendance records, academic and social progress.
  • Fortnightly Inclusion Meetings (Pastoral and Inclusion staff); concerns and action points shared.

What support is given to students moving between phases of education and preparing for adulthood?

  • Open days for prospective students and further visits if required.
  • Visits to primary schools, Induction Week, parents/carers’ afternoon, information shared.
  • 1:1 Options interviews (Y9) for all students with parents/carers – with member of Inclusion team where required.
  • Information and guidance through weekly Personal Guidance lessons, Sixth Form and careers interviews.
  • Inclusion Department staff support students at work experience or college visits if needed.
  • Careful planning of Teaching Assistant support at different Key Stages.
  • Inclusion staff support for individuals on A Level and GCSE results days each summer.

What is the approach to teaching students with SEN

  • Quality First teaching, close monitoring of individual progress (and subsequent action by the class teacher if a student is not progressing) personal guidance and promotion of student independence and shared information across the curriculum (see 1 above) all promote high levels of student achievement.
  • Students are allocated to classes based on ability within the subject, with those needing more literacy/numeracy support in smaller groups, often with TA support. There is the opportunity for movement between groups, depending on progress.
  • All students follow the National Curriculum and are expected to pass external examinations at the end of Year 11. There may be adaptations or interventions during a student’s school life, such as additional literacy or numeracy support, small group Maths Entry Level work/exam as part of Maths GCSE preparation or short-term withdrawal for an intervention.

How are the curriculum and learning environment adapted for students with SEN?

  • Teachers take into account students’ needs when planning lessons, for example by wearing radio aids and re-checking understanding of students with hearing impairment or by simplifying (differentiating) work or presenting it in different ways for students with additional learning needs.
  • TAs work closely with teachers to provide effective high quality support for students.
  • Interventions, for example Literacy Catch Up or Reading Club to speed up reading progress, in addition to whole-school promotion of reading and literacy development.
  • As students move through the school, guided pathways (in discussion with students and parents/carers) enable students to follow courses suited to their individual needs, for example we run a limited number of Level 1/Entry Level accredited courses, there are various Science qualifications and in Year 12 there is the opportunity to study Level 2 Work Skills with Maths and English GCSE re-takes.

What expertise and training do staff have in supporting students with SEN?

All BGGS school staff take part in on-going professional development in SEND. There is a very strong focus on the development of literacy, numeracy and helping students to work independently and think about how they can improve their own learning. Training takes place at after school meetings, our weekly before school Teaching and Learning sessions (sharing good practice), on allocated days during the year and at our annual School Conference. Specialist training is arranged as/when needed (e.g. related to specific students with medical conditions).

TAs have had external and school-based training related to their role and some have been on specialist courses, e.g. to support students with hearing impairment or autism. We take advice from a range of external agency staff, such as Pupil and School Support and the Educational Psychologist. BGGS has developed strong links with various universities through involvement in research projects. The government has designated BGGS as a Teaching School from September 2017, which will provide further opportunities for us to develop and share expertise and training.

How do we support emotional and social development

Emotional resilience and social skills are essential foundations for good learning; many students may need support and guidance in these areas at some point in their school lives. We are a relatively small secondary school, which helps us to know our students well and maintain good communication systems. Students are in tutor groups and their form tutor usually remains the same from year to year. Weekly Personal Guidance lessons take place in form group time. In addition to the Pastoral and Inclusion staff listed above, operating open-door systems, we have a part-time school mentor, Key Stage 4 Student Mediators and excellent links with external staff who visit the school regularly.  Please also refer to our Anti-Bullying Policy.

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our provision for students with SEN?

  • Students’ progress during their school life (both individuals and groups)
  • Observations and learning walks or visits to lessons (including Key Stage termly ‘Snapshots’)
  • Assessments (see 2), end of year exam results and nationally accredited exam results at the end of KS4 and KS5
  • Annual student school reports and termly Progress Checks
  • Reviews of SEN targets
  • Guidance from external agencies and LA staff
  • Feedback from students and parents/carers
  • Reports to Governors

How do we help students with SEN to take part in school activities?

Students with SEND generally take part in all school activities, through careful planning (including individual risk assessments where needed) before the activity, liaison with specialist staff and others, e.g. parents/carers, adaptations to the activity, student groupings and reviews of the activity afterwards. For example, a student with physical or sensory difficulties might need: TA help to take part in a class role play, different resources/support for some lessons and alternative transport and an adult guide on a visit.

How do we involve other organisations and agencies in meeting students' and their families' needs?

We have strong links with a range of external staff/agencies to advise on and support students’ individual and group needs. They attend annual reviews and various other meetings, e.g. regarding PE activities for students with physical needs. Specialist equipment may be loaned from them. Their staff may observe students in lessons and meet with school staff, parents/carers and students.

Where can you find out about the Birmingham Local Authority SEND offer?

The following websites contain further information:

Hearing Resource Base

 Here at BGGS our school has a fantastic provision for deaf students. We have an intake of 2-3 students per academic year and each case is looked at individually and a decision is made based on a number of different factors. An application should be put forward with the assistance of the primary school, teacher of the deaf and S.E.N.A.R (Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review).